The Certificate of Progress Program (COPP)


The Certificate of Progress Program (COPP) was organized at the Sunday School Publishing Board in October 1937.  It was designed to produce qualified church leaders.


The objectives of the Certificate of Progress Program, which are the same as those introduced by Dr. Talley in 1939, are as follows:

  1. To increase the biblical knowledge of the student;
  2. To create an understanding of the Baptist faith;
  3. To provide an educational structure that will develop candidates qualified for teaching and leadership positions;
  4. To provide incentives for the candidates to complete the program, and
  5. To produce trained church leaders.

Persons currently enrolled in the COPP are challenged to meet new objectives and to prepare for Christian service.

Policies and Procedures

A person wishing to enter the Certificate of Progress Program must follow specific procedures for enrollment:
The participant will have a dean of record made available to him or her by a Christian leadership school certified dean. The dean of record is responsible for giving guidance throughout the COPP.

Phase Requirements

Classes can be taken in any order within a phase, but each phase should be completed within a five-year period. Phases should be completed in sequential order. Upon completion of Phases 1, 2, and 3, students will receive a certificate for each phase. A COPP diploma will be issued upon completion of Phase 4.

Alternate COPP Fulfillment Requirements

A candidate may be exempted from the COPP by submitting a copy of an official transcript from an accredited Bible college, divinity school, seminary, or school of religion for evaluation.

A candidate with a degree from a liberal arts college - desiring exemption from the COPP must have a minimum of twelve (12) semester hours of courses in religion, Christian education, church history, or theology. Official transcripts should be submitted for evaluation and approval.

The Certificate of Progress Program course offerings per phase are as follows:

There are no electives in the Certificate of Progress Program.
COPP phases should be completed within a five (5) -year period.


1001 Introduction to the Bible
1004 Effective Bible Reading
1007 Survey of the Old Testament
1072 Survey of the New Testament
2011 Baptist Doctrine
6021 Spiritual Formation


1075 The Synoptic Gospels
2007 Christian Stewardship
3008 Theology and History of Christianity
4012 The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit
7024 Discovering Your Spiritual Gifts
9004 Writing Techniques I

One Outside Writing Assignment


1079 Survey of John
1089 Survey of Romans
3007 History of Baptists
7005 Christian Evangelism
7010 Introduction to Discipleship
9005 Writing Techniques II

One Outside Writing Assignment 


1112 Survey of Revelation
2015 Foundation of Christian Ethics
6013 Organizing the Church for Christian Education
8035 The African-American Church and Social Justice
8066 Christianity and Contemporary Issues
9024 The Computer in the Life of the Church

One Outside Writing Assignment

Any student officially enrolled in any CLS program prior to the implementation of the 2016 revision of the CLS Manual will be granted the opportunity to complete his/her original program of instruction.